The Kyoto Experiment (KEX) performing arts festival is marking the beginning of a new era. Not only does it have three new program directors at the helm, it also has a fresh logo and renewed focus on experimentation to boot. Despite a four-month delay due to the spread of COVID-19, the 11th edition of KEX is set to run from Feb. 6 to March 28.

Ever since Yusuke Hashimoto, the former director who stepped down in 2019 after a 10-year reign, launched KEX in 2010, the festival has become a major cultural event, as well as a forum for freedom of expression. Now, with Yoko Kawasaki, Yuya Tsukahara and Juliet Reiko Knapp leading the team, this year’s program will bring the festival’s keyword — experiment — back to the forefront.

During early discussions about shaping their first edition, the directors asked themselves, “What relationship should this experimental festival have with the city of Kyoto, the Kansai region and beyond?” and “What does it mean to create performance experiments in a time of crisis?”